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The probability of life

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posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 09:32 AM
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Just a clarification: the theory of how life originated on earth is called abiogenesis. It is different to the theory of evolution

You often see on the internet, creationists spouting numbers that 'prove' that life could not have originated via abiogenesis. I attempt to disprove that myth. For those of you who have not seen it, first of all, where have you been for the past decade. Secondly:


The calculation which supports the creationist argument begins with the probability of a 300-molecule-long protein forming by total random chance. This would be approximately 1 chance in 10^390. This number is astoundingly huge. By comparison, the number of all the atoms in the observable universe is 108^0. So, if a simple protein has that unlikely chance of forming, what hope does a complete bacterium have?


If the theory of abiogenesis relied entirely on random chance, then yes, it would be impossible for life to form this way. However that is not what the theory of abiogenesis is.

Abiogenesis, similar to evolution, was a long process of little tiny steps which was also governed by the forces of natural selection and chemistry. The very first stages of abiogenesis were no more than simple self-replicating molecules, which might hardly have been called alive at all.

It has been theorised that the shortest self replicating peptide is only 32 amino acids long. The probability of it forming randomly, in sequential trials, is approximately 1 in 10^40. Which is a huge difference to the 10^390 claim we saw earlier.

10^40 is still a huge number though and as such it would take an incredibly large number of trials before the peptide would form. Now, here's the key part. In the prebiotic oceans of the early Earth, there would be billions of trials taking place simultaneously as the oceans, rich in amino acids, were continuously churned by the tidal forces of the moon and the harsh weather conditions of the Earth.

In fact, if we assume the volume of the oceans were 10^24 liters, and the amino acid concentration was 10^-6M,(which is very dilute) then almost 10^31 self-replicating peptides would form in under a year, let alone millions of years. So, even given the difficult chances of 1 in 10^40, the first stages of abiogenesis could have started very quickly indeed.
edit on 27/7/2011 by Griffo because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 09:50 AM
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It's most likely an oversight but 108^0 = 1


By comparison, the number of all the atoms in the observable universe is 108^0





posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 10:00 AM
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pics or it didn't happen ....



Whats the point of this thread to point out how improbable abiogensis on its own without any guidence from outside forces?


we already knew that ....



all the numbers people throw around are nothing but hope trian numbers ....


Why waste a thread ....with something so pointless?

Why don't you go to school and help them recreate abiogensis in a lab ?

you know .....evidence?


numbers are there just to help people sleep at night regardless if there true or not ... the complexity of it helps ease the pain



heres my improbability number for abiogensis


10^4343534

same bs as everyone else


lets just admit it the aliens kicked started it

or some divine intervention to kick start it

or perhaps it was just fluke...lol



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 12:56 PM
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I wrote an article, not on ATS, a while back, that examined the worst of Creationist claims, and compared it to the "probability of god choosing this planet", and made a strong point that the worst(and unquantifiable) estimates were still massively more likely that life would begin on earth than if god had to choose one planet randomly throughout the estimated universe.

Put it in perspective, put it on top of the vast areas for the chance of life, and the fact that it repeats constantly(things that the creationists leave out of their estimates), and it really blows the "impossible chance" claim well out of the water.

There's many more 'impossible chances' in the god hypothesis, but the people who should know that don't want to know it.



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 06:21 PM
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reply to post by OccamAssassin
 


Ahh, yes. A simple typo. Unfortunately it's too late for me to edit it

reply to post by seedofchucky
 


Pics or it didn't happen doesn't even apply to this situation.


Whats the point of this thread to point out how improbable abiogensis on its own without any guidence from outside forces?


The point of this thread was to point out the exact opposite, and it succeeded in doing so.


Why don't you go to school and help them recreate abiogensis in a lab ?


Because abiogenesis is not my subject of study. Pharmacology is


lets just admit it the aliens kicked started it

or some divine intervention to kick start it


"pics or it didn't happen"



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 06:30 PM
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reply to post by Griffo
 


You really didn't have to go through all this trouble. As far as I'm concerned it doesn't matter how improbable life forming naturally is, a natural formation would still be more probable than a supernatural one. They can throw around all the numbers they want, hell they could even disprove abiogenesis entirely it still wouldn't prove that the answer is "God did it"



posted on Jul, 27 2011 @ 09:48 PM
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reply to post by Griffo
 


I find the study interesting, but when Creationists throw out the probability of life to be 10^390; I like to throw out that "we're here, so it must be probable."

Highly improbable situations happen all the time, like people winning the lottery. Why should the formation of life on Earth or elsewhere in the Universe be treated any differently?
edit on 27-7-2011 by novastrike81 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 02:27 AM
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Originally posted by seedofchucky
lets just admit it the aliens kicked started it

And then you're back to status quo, since, they also had to originate somewhere. So please keep the discussion on topic, and retain from posting random stuff.

Originally posted by Griffo
Just a clarification: the theory of how life originated on earth is called abiogenesis. It is different to the theory of evolution

Yes. Evolution and abiogenesis are apples and chairs. I wish people would understand that.. Would keep discussions sooo much better.



The calculation which supports the creationist argument begins with the probability of a 300-molecule-long protein forming by total random chance. This would be approximately 1 chance in 10^390. This number is astoundingly huge. By comparison, the number of all the atoms in the observable universe is 108^0. So, if a simple protein has that unlikely chance of forming, what hope does a complete bacterium have?


Abiogenesis, similar to evolution, was a long process of little tiny steps which was also governed by the forces of natural selection and chemistry. The very first stages of abiogenesis were no more than simple self-replicating molecules, which might hardly have been called alive at all.


It has been theorised that the shortest self replicating peptide is only 32 amino acids long. The probability of it forming randomly, in sequential trials, is approximately 1 in 10^40. Which is a huge difference to the 10^390 claim we saw earlier.


Two things here.

1. It is well established in science, that the expected first molecules with catalytic activity were RNA based. Talking about proteins makes no sense in this discussion.

2. If people really expect life to go from rock --> bacteria! then they are delusional. Micelles had to be formed, certain components with catalytic activity had to be contained, and the correct conditions also had to be available. Other than that, no need for complex intracellular pathways to sprout into existence on day 1.

(And people, please don't bring the concept of life into this.. That is yet a third discussion...)


If the theory of abiogenesis relied entirely on random chance, then yes, it would be impossible for life to form this way. However that is not what the theory of abiogenesis is.


But it has to be about coincidence, no matter how you put it.



posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 02:34 AM
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reply to post by novastrike81
 


The "argument from improbability" is always good for a chuckle.

Creationist: "But it's so improbable!"
Me: "Maybe so. But improbable and impossible have totally different meanings. And here we are, exhibit A. Where's your god?"
Creationist: "...Airplanes.. eyeballs.. piltdown! *sputter, sputter, explode*"



posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 12:25 PM
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reply to post by Griffo
 





In fact, if we assume the volume of the oceans were 10^24 liters, and the amino acid concentration was 10^-6M,(which is very dilute) then almost 10^31 self-replicating peptides would form in under a year, let alone millions of years. So, even given the difficult chances of 1 in 10^40, the first stages of abiogenesis could have started very quickly indeed.


OK - let's give you that, that for some unbeleivable probablity "peptides would form in under a year", and thereby triggering "abiogenesis".

Can you please tell me which one of the three main ingredients of life came first:

Is it the:

1) DNA?

2) RNA?

or the

3) Proteins?

Or

4) all at the same time?


If so what's the probability of one forming without the other?

Or

The probabiblity of all forming at the same time?


Surely, in this advance 21st cent - we should have an answer now than in 1996 when scientists around the world according to The New York Times reported that:


“armed with their best computer programs, competed to solve one of the most complex problems in biology: how a single protein, made from a long string of amino acids, folds itself into the intricate shape that determines the role it plays in life. . . . The result, succinctly put, was this: the computers lost and the proteins won. . . . Scientists have estimated that for an average-sized protein, made from 100 amino acids, solving the folding problem by trying every possibility would take 10^27 (a billion billion billion) years"



edit on 28-7-2011 by edmc^2 because: ^ - rearranged Q



posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 01:15 PM
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reply to post by Thain Esh Kelch
 


"Originally posted by seedofchucky
lets just admit it the aliens kicked started it


And then you're back to status quo, since, they also had to originate somewhere. So please keep the discussion on topic, and retain from posting random stuff"



but then.....


"1. It is well established in science, that the expected first molecules with catalytic activity were RNA "\





but where did the RNA come from Mr. keep discussion on topic ?


Double standards much ?

Or scientism at its finest



posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 02:13 PM
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Originally posted by novastrike81
reply to post by Griffo
 


I find the study interesting, but when Creationists throw out the probability of life to be 10^390; I like to throw out that "we're here, so it must be probable."

Highly improbable situations happen all the time, like people winning the lottery. Why should the formation of life on Earth or elsewhere in the Universe be treated any differently?
edit on 27-7-2011 by novastrike81 because: (no reason given)
Deny Ignorance. Using the Lottery to show that life on earth spontaneously occurs is laughable, because your trying to play on other peoples ignorance with your own. When somebody wins the lottery they are not the only ones playing. Let's say a lottery has a 12 million to 1 chance for the winning numbers to be picked with each ticket sold. If that week, in that lottery, they sell 10 million tickets, and have 6 million tickets with a unique set of numbers, the odds are now 2 to 1. As you can see the odds that week give all the ticket buyers a combined 50% chance of winning. So can we get passed the idea, on ATS, the odds of winning the lottery are somehow worse than a coin toss?



posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 02:33 PM
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reply to post by addygrace
 


The number of players does not change the chance of any given entrant winning. Regardless, life played the lottery for billions of years. Evidently it one, because we're around to witness it.



posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 04:08 PM
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Originally posted by edmc^2
Can you please tell me which one of the three main ingredients of life came first:

Is it the:

1) DNA?

2) RNA?

or the

3) Proteins?

Or

4) all at the same time?

Most likely

1. RNA (ssRNA can fold into 3D structures just like amino acid peptides, and gain enzymatic function)
2. DNA (chemically speaking DNA and RNA are pretty much the same, DNA is just more stable)
3. Proteins (much later, there's no protein synthesis without rRNAs and tRNAs)
edit on 28-7-2011 by rhinoceros because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 05:05 PM
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Originally posted by addygrace
Deny Ignorance. Using the Lottery to show that life on earth spontaneously occurs is laughable, because your trying to play on other peoples ignorance with your own. When somebody wins the lottery they are not the only ones playing. Let's say a lottery has a 12 million to 1 chance for the winning numbers to be picked with each ticket sold. If that week, in that lottery, they sell 10 million tickets, and have 6 million tickets with a unique set of numbers, the odds are now 2 to 1. As you can see the odds that week give all the ticket buyers a combined 50% chance of winning. So can we get passed the idea, on ATS, the odds of winning the lottery are somehow worse than a coin toss?


This is exactly what creationists leave out, not the other way around. If you take all the habitable places on earth, and times that by millions(billions even) of years. Taking the odds of one 'person' winning the 'lottery' doesn't accurately describe life's origins. Instead, you have millions playing the lottery, millions of times, and trying to claim that since it's incredibly improbable(using really bias numbers to decide the probability) for one 'person' to win the lottery that none of the billions playing over time could win. That is truly laughable.

The lottery perfectly describes abiogenesis. Not even just winning one week, but the odds of anyone ever winning the lottery over millions of years. Even if it's odds are really low.

Life only needed one win, but probably had many more. It's just that 1 specific one lasted long enough to diverge most known life. Virus's are likely the offspring of a different abiogenesis too.

And, don't even get me started on exogenesis, a whole new window of explaining how life on earth started.



posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 05:37 PM
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Originally posted by xxsomexpersonxx
Virus's are likely the offspring of a different abiogenesis too.

No. Viruses are not one homogenous group. There are 7 groups based on the type of replication, and these are further divided into numerous families (of which many are polyphyletic). Different families, different origins (e.g. some used to be plasmids). Anyways, all viruses follow the same general genetic code that is observed for other life, and mostly deploy the same replication apparatuses (thou some e.g. code for their own DNA pol like T4). In general thou nothing about viruses points to another abiogenesis event. I'm not saying other events didn't happen (how could anyone know), but if they did, it sure looks like one lineage came to dominate all others (by maybe being more efficient), thus killing everything else very early on (thus signs of e.g. RNA world are only seen in some of the most fundamental processes anymore as all pure RNA life was wiped out a long time ago).
edit on 28-7-2011 by rhinoceros because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 05:42 PM
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Originally posted by john_bmth
reply to post by addygrace
 


The number of players does not change the chance of any given entrant winning. Regardless, life played the lottery for billions of years. Evidently it one, because we're around to witness it.
No it doesn't change, one ticket winning. If you were the only one buying one ticket each week, on a 12 million to 1 lottery, then you would have a point about the lottery being improbable. The only improbability in the lottery is one person winning the lottery, playing by themsleves. It's not improbable for the totality of all ticket buyers to win the lottery If you brute force a certain intended outcome, then not only is it probable but you don't even need to be lucky.

As for life winning the lottery. I guess your right because you think anything that can happen will happen. The odds of it happening are 1 to 1. But this isn't science at all. What information does it give us to say, we're here so it happened. Abiogenesis breaks the law of biogenesis. There are no known exceptions to life coming from life.



posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 05:46 PM
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Originally posted by addygrace
There are no known exceptions to life coming from life.

Because we have studied this for such a long time now it's safe to conclude that it's impossible and God did it? Let's get back to this when we've studied this for some hundreds of millions of years in replicated early Earth environment.



posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 06:57 PM
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reply to post by rhinoceros
 


I'll admit the origin of viruses isn't well studied by me, but I was always lead to belief it was a form of abiogenesis. A kind of chemical reaction fuzed with DNA from something no longer living, creating a new living creature.

I meant that as an off hand remark. I don't like making claims I haven't done the research to be sure of.



posted on Jul, 28 2011 @ 08:52 PM
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Originally posted by rhinoceros

Originally posted by addygrace
There are no known exceptions to life coming from life.

Because we have studied this for such a long time now it's safe to conclude that it's impossible and God did it? Let's get back to this when we've studied this for some hundreds of millions of years in replicated early Earth environment.
I'm not arguing from incredulity. I'm arguing from a standpoint of science. Biogenesis is repeatable. Their are no exceptions to this observation of science. Believing in abiogenesis is the exact opposite of science.



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